Stocks Head Lower for 3rd Straight Day 03/12 09:33
The U.S. stock market was heading for a third loss in a row Wednesday as
investors worry about slower economic growth in China and lingering tensions in
(AP) -- The U.S. stock market was heading for a third loss in a row
Wednesday as investors worry about slower economic growth in China and
lingering tensions in Ukraine.
KEEPING SCORE: The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell six points, or 0.3
percent, to 1,861 as of 10:25 a.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones industrial
average shed 50 points, or 0.3 percent, to 16,300. The Nasdaq composite dipped
13 points, or 0.3 percent, to 4,293.
CHINA IN SPOTLIGHT: The catalyst for the latest market downturn was news
this week that Chinese exports slumped in February. Since China is a big
consumer of raw materials and energy, commodities such as copper and iron ore
have dropped sharply. Copper has fallen to its lowest level since 2010.
SECTOR VIEW: Nine of the 10 industry sectors in the S&P 500 index fell. The
only one that rose was utilities. Among the S&P 500 index's big decliners were
insurer Progressive, which shed 69 cents, or 2.9 percent, to $23.82, and
homebuilder PulteGroup, which slid 52 cents, or 2.6 percent, to $19.41
following a report that applications for home loans declined from a week ago.
DIGGING DEEP: Mining companies topped the list of gainers in the S&P 500
index in early trading. Cliffs Natural Resources led the pack, rising 55 cents,
or 3.1 percent, to $18.53. Newmont Mining added 39 cents, or 1.6 percent, to
DRUG CONCERNS: Geron plunged $2.94, or 66.6 percent, to $1.47 in early
trading. Concerns about potential liver damage prompted U.S. federal regulators
to order research suspended on its blood disorder drug.
EUROPE: Germany's DAX fell 1.5 percent, the CAC-40 in France fell 1.4
percent and Britain's FT-SE lost 1 percent.
ASIA: Earlier, Hong Kong's Hang Seng closed down 1.7 percent. China's
Shanghai composite dropped 0.2 percent. South Korea's Kospi shed 1.6 percent.
In Japan, the Nikkei 225 slid 2.6 percent. The Bank of Japan decided not to
expand its already lavish monetary stimulus following a 2-day policy meeting.